Blue Mounds State Park
Blue Mounds State Park, located 25 miles west of Madison, offers a variety of scenic cross-country ski trails for trekkers of all abilities, from a half-mile route to the red loop winding through three miles of icy woods and steep hills. There are even separate trails for hikers, snowshoers and leashed pets. Afterward, warm up with hot drinks inside a heated shelter or toast marshmallows over a bonfire.
City of Madison Parks
Strap on your skates and hit the pond at one of Madison’s many city parks. Ice skates and hockey sticks are available for rental at most parks, and you can enjoy skating under the lights at the city’s free Groove and Glide events, which take place on Friday nights in January and February.
Devil’s Head Resort
Devil’s Head Ski Resort, atop of one of Wisconsin’s highest mountains, attracts skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort, located 40 miles northwest of Madison on the glacial bluffs of Baraboo, boasts 30 ski trails, a three-and-a-half-mile cross-country ski loop and a terrain park where snowboarders can try out some new tricks.
Outdoor UW/Wisconsin Hoofers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Not ready to invest in winter recreation equipment? Try renting! Outdoor UW at the Wisconsin Union on UW-Madison’s campus offers affordable rentals of snowshoes, plus camping equipment year-round. Or, check out the Hoofers Ski and Snowboarding Club. The organization is led by UW students, but anyone can join.
Dane County Parks
There’s no better place to hit the trails than Dane County Parks. Dozens of miles of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking trails are groomed December through March, and open when conditions are favorable. CamRock County Park in eastern Dane County also offers winter mountain biking trails and a sledding hill.
Warner Park Community Recreation Center
The Warner Park Community Recreation Center offers state-of-the-art exercise equipment, personal trainers and open gym time. The exercise room features treadmills, elliptical and rowing machines, bicycles, circuit equipment, dumbbells, fitness balls and stretching mats. Daily admission fees with an ID card are under $4–6 per day.